British Airways on Thursday apologised to some of its Nigerian passengers over recent delays and diversions of flights occasioned by the inclement weather at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
The airline said it regrets the “inconveniences of varying degrees” experienced by its passengers in these past few days.
Some passengers had accused the airline of abandoning them in Accra, Ghana after their flight could not land in Lagos.
But explaining the situation, BA’s General Manager, West Africa, Kola Olayinka said, “We would like to use this opportunity to tender an unreserved apology to our esteemed customers for the inconveniences of varying degrees, experienced these past few days.”
According to him, the situation has been a result of recent delays and diversions of flights occasioned by the inclement weather causing very poor visibility at the Lagos airport, coupled with a number of factors outside of our immediate control.
He said, “In these unique cases, the decision to delay or divert flights were made carefully by our pilots who are well trained to handle situations like this, especially in consideration of the safety and security of our passengers and crew.
“As a people-first airline, we ensured that our customers were properly accommodated in hotels where adequate rooms were available, meals, refreshments, and transport to and from the Airports were provided for their movement at the different Airports in Accra, Abuja, and Lagos.
“Regrettably, in this unique case, most hotels were taken up by passengers of airlines that were earlier diverted to Abuja. The direct result was the inadequacy of accommodation. To resolve this, we booked all 157 available rooms and accommodated 157 Passengers, we also ensured the safety of the remaining passengers by accommodating them in a dedicated area provided by Sheraton where we provided meals and drinks.”
On the diversion to Accra, Olayinka explained that the airline had to charter a flight to convey the passengers to Lagos but it was later learnt that some of the passengers had made personal arrangement to transport themselves.
He said, “The Accra incident was markedly unpredictable as the delay lingered for two days due to the persisting weather condition. We chartered a Boeing 767 from Euro Atlantic to convey passengers from Accra to Lagos. However a number of passengers had opted to make personal arrangements for their return.
“We regret the frustrations experienced and the disruptions it would have had on earlier-planned engagements of our esteemed customers. We would also like to use this opportunity to encourage passengers to send receipts of expenses incurred during this period to our customer relations team on standby to process the reimbursements and also attend to queries.”